Government-subsidised aged care services
If you need some help at home or are considering moving into an aged care home, you may first need a free assessment to work out if you are eligible to receive government-subsidised aged care services.
In Gippsland, the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) is part of Latrobe Community Health Service. We have a team of health professionals with expertise in health care and community services for frail, aged people, and younger people with disabilities. Our team of experienced and compassionate assessors will assist you in navigating your way through the Aged Care system to attain the support you need.
The Gippsland Aged Care Assessment Service can help identify the type of care services to help you to stay at home. We can also provide you with eligibility for care in an aged care home. Our assessors will spend the time with you to clearly explain your options so that you may feel informed in making your care decisions.
You are welcome to have someone else – perhaps a friend, family member, independent aged care advocate or your carer – attend your assessment with you for extra support.
When do I need an ACAS assessment?
You will need an ACAS assessment if you:
- feel you may need some help with day-to-day tasks around the house
- need some respite care while your family or carer is away
- need help after time spent in hospital
- think it’s time to look into aged care homes
How do I organise an ACAS assessment?
To apply for an assessment, you may do this online through www.myagedcare.gov.au
Using the online application is quick and easy and will only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It’s the same form to apply for all types of care and support – including help at home, short-term care, and care in an aged care home.
You can complete the application yourself or on behalf of a family member or friend. If you’d like to set up an ongoing representative, you can also do that here.
There are three parts to the application. The first checks you are eligible, the second captures your details, and the third confirms who the assessor should call to arrange the assessment. You will need your Medicare card and enough time to complete it.
If you are having difficulty in completing the assessment, you may call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for assistance.
What happens at an ACAS assessment?
We will ask your permission to talk to your GP about your medical history prior to your assessment. If you agree to this, we will record your consent.
We will make a time to come to your home (or the hospital, if you’re currently in hospital) and talk to you about your medical information and social history.
We will talk to you about whether you need more support so you can keep living in your own home, or if you might be better supported in an aged care home. Our team of experienced and compassionate assessors will discuss with you your health and care needs to identify your wishes and goals. The assessor will spend the time to clearly explain your options so that you may feel informed in making your care decisions.
The assessor will be able to clarify any further questions or concerns you may have when navigating the complex aged care system.
At the end of the assessment, the assessor will go over your personalised support plan with you to ensure you are happy and comfortable with the services or care. The support plan will outline the outcomes of discussions with, and assessments for yourself, including what you would like to improve and achieve (your goals), and agreed actions to be taken.
Services or care in which your assessor may discuss and explain further include;
- Commonwealth Home Support Packages
- Residential Aged Care- permanent or respite care.
- Short Term Restorative Care
What happens after an ACAS assessment?
Once you have had the ACAS assessment, you will receive a letter to tell you if you have been approved as eligible for government services. Your letter will tell you what type of services you’re eligible for and approved to receive, as well as the reasons why. You will also receive a copy of your completed Aged Care Client Record.
Once you have agreed on what care or services you would like, the assessor will assist you in referring to, and accessing this support.
You should keep a copy of your completed record because you will need to show this record to organisations to confirm that you are eligible to receive government-subsidised aged care services.
What happens if I have to wait for a service provider to begin providing me care?
The government allocates a set number of assistance packages for Gippsland each year. Once you have received your ACAS assessment, you will be placed on a register. When an assistance package becomes available, providers in the region will contact you to ask if you would like to take up that package through their service.
You can specify that you only wish to be contacted by your preferred service provider. If you are assessed as needing urgent assistance, your care will be prioritized. Our assessors will discuss with you any immediate needs to best support you in the interim.
How much does an ACAS assessment cost?
The aged care assessment service is free.